National Poetry Month – Speak the Unspoken

marcus2Speak the Unspoken

By Marcus McGhee

Speak the unspoken

Awake the unwoken

While standing on mounts of Sinai with Moses

Conversing about the commandments of God

Watching bushes burns and rivers split

Remembering the children who dwelled in deserts

Decades upon decades upon decades yet they still entered lands of promise.

See lies no longer cover the truth and blessing unveiled like sight to those that touch the garments of Jesus.

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone…

Why Christ didn’t snatch the nails nailed into his hands and feet with hatred out

Why he allowed lashing after lashing, flogging after flogging, beating after beating

And peasants to spit at the feet of a king…

When we would have

If we could have,

Rendered the sight full eyeless without eyelids and the voice full voiceless

Tyrants that seek to keep their sinful pulpits of power tongue less with mouth less teachings.

Yet he remained humble.

Never questioned his father,

Even after the piercing at thorns into his brow,

Bones bruised and broken, still he walked

Miles upon miles over cobblestones of demonic prayers.

And all we saw was the weight of an oak carved wooden cross,

Not realizing it bared the sins of our souls, the doubt of our minds,

The cruel meditations of our hearts,

Yet he pressed on

Yet he pressed on

To the top of mountain were he set to crucified

Were ornery on lookers shouted and danced at what they thought was a trader’s demise.

Spitting, while shouting; “ surrender to our believes, to our God”

And where is God now

If you are indeed all-powerful remove yourself from this situation from this persecution and we too will believe

NO ANSWER…

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

AND WITH HIS LAST BREATH HE SPOKE

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

Lie and tell me that when you were standin’ in the rain

In pain cryin’ sighin’ still lying wouldn’t ask for forgiveness even though the beast was

Kickin’ your spirit with your soul.

That it was he who handed you the umbrella

That it was he who became your pain killer

That it was he who became the shield in which shielded you from the foot of the beast

And yet you can’t believe

You can’t open your eyes to see that if it was up to you

You would still be standing in that piercing rain, licking your blood trying not to get wet with an umbrella that never opened.

Come on, come on

Tell me again and again

How the devil had you stressed out and stretched out

Standing in a blacked out cave.

No exits, no water no sight no food and no direction

How you were in a hole so deep that the dirt filled your lungs

That no loan no man woman child or machine could have dug you out

Yet when he delivered you,

When he delivered you

That cave became full of light

You saw the neon exit signs

You had food and water for your journey

That Tylenol you were given was called prayer

And your stress no longer stretched you out

That hole in which you were once buried no longer even covers your feet

And the words that the devil once whispered have become foreign and you can no longer understand his language

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

National Poetry Month – Who is She?

Denise nolanWho is She?

By Denise Nolan

The pain that was stored in my heart felt like black coal

Rooms are listening to the cries of the unwanted goals

Friends that look up to me are confused and started

asking Who is She?

See looking in the rearview mirror makes life troubles

Harder to overcome I ask where do my lessons come from?

Driven to the outer limits of my soul leaders are watching me

And the question again is raised Who is She?

A woman seeking her internal wisdom that can’t be

Expelled wanting to dismiss her outer shell fighting with

Temptation that only causes dreams to fail.

Living an afterlife state of mind wanting to grow in a

Different time question is Who is She?

Fallen into an unrighteous way it’s hard to not go astray

Misery has increased the travel illusions in my mind

Must cease

Walking blind in the wilderness looking for love and

Direction to obtain His protection

Unspoken knowledge that curves the mind, trying

To delete my past taken by this uncontrollable task

Question is Who is She?

Treating me as a criminal in the place someone

Forgot to tell you, I’m saved by God’s grace

In the center of His heart is where He placed me

He has taken me by the hands and now I walk with

Thee. He has taken me under His wing and now I’m

Convinced He has a plan out there for me.

Now Satan is confused and he’s asking

“Who is She?”

Denise Nolan, known as Pizazz, is a slam poet, speaker and radio personality driven to inspire and encourage women of all ages to embrace life and grow their inner strength. Visit her site at http://www.exhaleradio.com/

What Good is Prayer?

By Robert Burk

prayerSome experiments have been done to test if prayer works but this is not what this article is about. The question here is “What good is prayer?” Usually we already have the answer given us in Scripture.  At other times the answer is our head and two arms. We know what God wants. We have the information in the Bible and the tools in all the good things He has given us. Often all we need to do is to obey.

So, what good is prayer?

Prayer will not change the Laws of God; it does not change the Great Commission. Prayer does not alter what the church is or how we are to act with one another. After we pray, the words in the Bible remain as they have since dictated to the prophets.

Prayer does not change things. God’s Plan will unfold. It is the one certain thing in this universe. Yet, we all pray and many believe this is the main focus of a Christian’s life. But what good is prayer if it does not change anything?

Prayer does not feed the hungry. Prayer will not put a roof over a homeless person’s head. Prayer does not give those who are lonely a friend. Prayer does not introduce the lost to Christ. God works through us. What good is prayer if we are not the answer? We pray that lost souls should be saved but what is the point if we do not seek to save the lost?

What is the point of prayer to make the world a better place if we are not living as we ought? There is a right and wrong in this world, if we are not living right what is the point in praying for things to get better? God has given us our instructions and everything we need to carry them out. The Bible tells us how to live.  Why pray and ignore what He has told us to do?

What good is prayer when we are the answer? We are the way God answers prayers. If we are not the answer to prayer then what good is prayer? God made us to be an answer to each other’s prayers. If we were the answer to prayer, life would be far different and far better.

If the world does not believe prayer works it is because we do not do what we are meant to do.  We are not answering prayers and we are not doing the work of God.

The church prays but the church does not answer prayer. How then can prayer change anything? We were given a head and two hands for a reason.  If all we are to do is pray, Scripture would be far less demanding and contain fewer instructions. If we would focus on being an answer to prayer, we could and would change the world. We would create a church that is one body under Christ. Denominational difference would melt under the light of our love. And no one would be asking, “What good is prayer?” for they would see us and know the answer.

About the Author – Robert Burk is a writer and consultant on motivation who studies the Bible as a document that provides real clues to how we should be living and organizing our business and economics. http://www.rationalexchange.com/

Voices in a Crisis

by William Higgins

Crises are a part of life. If you aren’t experiencing one at present, you can be sure someone close to you is whether you know it or not.

healthelandDeath of a loved one, a family member in prison or living on the street, news of a debilitating illness, loss of a job; they all bring pain and added stress. The pain you feel is real. The stress you experience is real. And they aren’t to be minimized. They won’t go away with just a few words, or a few days. It will take time. And the time will be a challenge to your well-being and your faith.

Others go about their lives seemingly without a care in the world. Life’s a breeze. Everything’s great. But you’re dying inside!

During this time there are numerous voices clambering for your attention. Which voices do you listen to? Which voices do you give credence to? Do you listen to:

The voices inside your head? This voice challenges you to make it on your own. You say to yourself, “I really don’t need others to help me with this, I can do it.” You don’t want to rely on others and appear weak. You want to pretend that all is well and carry on as you always have. You are proud after all. This voice could also present the other side; you just can’t make it through this pain. You won’t survive.  However, in listening to these voices you’re denying what Christianity is all about; helping others and being a body as described in I Corinthians 12. Don’t listen to these voices.

The voices of others? These voices tell you to try this miracle cure, or that exciting moneymaker, this magical remedy, or that amazing counselor. While Christ does tell us in Luke 16 that the people of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind, you must weigh what these voices are saying. Too often they’re acting only on worldly wisdom, humanistic philosophy and easy escape routes. Weigh what these voices are saying on the scales of scripture to see if they have value or not. Don’t just listen to them and do what they say.

The voice of God? God is there in times of crisis. He is there to carry you through it. But His voice isn’t easily heard. His voice may be drowned out by the other voices you hear. You need to pay attention to what He’s saying, and how He’s saying it. Learn from the prophets of old.

Elijah was in a crisis. He had told Ahab of his wickedness and God’s punishment in the coming drought. He further angered King Ahab by defeating the prophets of Baal. He had a contract on his head thanks to Queen Jezebel. So he did what any of us would do; he ran. Forget the victory over Baal. Forget how God had taken care of him in the past; he just ran for his life man! Forget even trying to hear God’s voice. Doesn’t Elijah sound just like us?

But was this man trying to hear from God, or just running away from his crisis? You read the story starting in I Kings 17 and you decide. Even in Elijah’s running God took care of him. First, ravens fed him. Then a widow helped him out, an angel brought him food, water and comfort. But that wasn’t enough. Elijah kept searching for what he couldn’t seem to find. He went to the cave, he went to the mountain; but didn’t find God. He looked for God in the tornado, in the earthquake, in a firestorm, but God was not there. We look for God also, but fail to hear His voice.

But God finally got his attention in a gentle whisper. C.S. Lewis says, “God screams in our pleasure, but whispers in our pain.” God challenged Elijah to remember His faithfulness, encouraged him to retreat and spend time alone with Him, prompted him to reflect on how God had been there in the past, and directed him to re-establish relationships. These were the keys to Elijah’s renewal and are your keys to a renewed relationship with God also, and to handling a crisis.

Other biblical characters faced crises also. Joseph was a spoiled son to whom his father Jacob  presented a beautiful coat, which only added to how his brothers felt about him. They hated him and Joseph didn’t do anything to appease that hatred. He flaunted his dreams in their faces, so when they had the opportunity they threatened to kill him. Instead of killing him however, they sold him to a band of wandering traders. The traders in turn sold him to a high government official in Egypt where he worked as a slave. He was then thrown in prison as a result of a false accusation, where he spent the next ten years. You could say Joseph had a crisis, and his went on for over 13 years!

But we catch a glimpse of the fact that God was at work in him and for him even during the crisis. His story starts in Genesis 37, and in Genesis 40:2 you find a phrase that is repeated over the next few chapters, “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…” We don’t have a lot of detail in the chapters starting in Genesis 37 about what Joseph did and didn’t do to find God blessing him, but what we do find is that Joseph was true to how God had made him, and he was true to his God

When he couldn’t see what was happening, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When he did what was right and still suffered, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When his crisis went on for years, Joseph was true to himself and to God. You can read more about Joseph and how God worked on his behalf in a soon-to-be-released book; Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search (www.MindWarePublishing.com).

You can make it through your crisis; not just by listening to yourself, not just by listening to others, but by listening to God. He is there, and He knows your pain. He may not be visible. He may not be audible. He may not reveal Himself in miraculous ways, but you can trust that He is there and is working on your behalf.

The way Joseph and Elijah handled their crises is also your answer to how to handle your crisis and what voices to listen to. Learn from Elijah and remember God’s faithfulness, retreat and spend some time alone with Him, reflect on how God has been there in your past, and re-establish relationships to help you through the crisis. And learn from Joseph and be true to yourself, how God has made you, and true to God by believing that He is still in control even when you can’t see anything to prove that.

He is working and He’s not finished yet!

About the Author: BILL HIGGINS is currently the Managing Director of MindWare Incorporated, an independent training and career coaching consulting firm. He previously served on the pastoral staff of churches in the U.S. and Canada, and worked in a managerial capacity for industry leading organizations. Bill is a graduate of Biola University and Talbot Theological Seminary.

Evidence of Your Faith

From the book: “Intensive Faith Therapy” by Vanessa Collins

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

court supremeWe will focus on the second part of our scripture today.  According to the author of Hebrews, faith is the “evidence of things not seen”.  It is by our faith that we stand on the promises of God, even when we do not see the actual manifestation.

In our judicial system, evidence is very important in legal matters, especially criminal and civil cases.  If the system is running correctly (which, unfortunately, does not happen all the time), the party that can prove his/her case by the preponderance of evidence wins the case.  The stronger your evidence, the more likely you will have a ruling in your favor.

The best evidence you can have in a courtroom is factual, tangible evidence.  If you can, so to speak, produce the “smoking gun with fingerprints”, you have something that, in most cases, the judge will allow you to admit as evidence.  It will be admissible in court.  Admissible evidence leads directly to something else.  You can trace it to a logical conclusion.  You do not have to infer or guess where or to whom it points.  It is direct.

Sometimes, factual evidence is not available.  In this case, the lawyer may have to refer to circumstantial evidence or even hearsay.  In most cases (again, where the system is running properly) one rarely gets a major conviction based solely on circumstantial evidence.  The bigger the issue, the more evidence is needed in order to get a ruling in your favor.

How does this relate to our study?  Faith is the evidence of what we do not yet see.  How strong is the evidence that you will receive the promises of God that you are seeking?  Are you standing on strong, factual evidence or is your case weak, based on hearsay of what you think God might do?

What factual evidence do we have concerning the things of God?  Our biggest “smoking gun” if you will, is the Word of God.  As Christians, we believe that the Word of God is true.  We also have a true and righteous judge.   Psalm 96:12-13 tells us that the Lord shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.  Therefore, we can stand on the Word of God as evidence to that which we seek. God even instructs us to put Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26).  If God says in His Word that He will do something, you can depend on that Word.  In Isaiah 46:11, The Lord tells Isaiah;

…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

The Word of God is our strongest evidence that God will do what He has promised.  When this evidence is presented, a favorable ruling can be counted on.

What other evidence can we use?  Lawyers often rely on the testimony of witnesses to convince the jury and judge to rule in their favor.  The best witnesses are those that are credible and are basing their testimony on actual facts that they have experienced.  If they can say, “I know this happened because I saw it”, your witnesses will have a great impact on the case.  However, if they say that we were told that something happened but they did not actually witness it, it may be ruled as hearsay and not viewed as strongly as other testimony.

What testimony are you using to build your case and build your faith?  Proverbs 14:5 tells us that a “faithful witness will not lie”.  Are you listening to the witness of the “faithful” in God?  You need to surround yourself by those that will give you ammunition for your case.  Leave the doubters alone!  You need people in your life that know that God will make a way.  You will then have a faith that is strong and able to withstand the scrutiny of the courtroom of life.


For your edification, answer the following questions.

What type of evidence would a lawyer rather have in a courtroom, factual or circumstantial?

 Answer the following questions in your own words.

Why is the Word of God strong evidence for the Christian?

Why is the testimony of a faithful witness important to you?

 We want to not just hear the word, but put it into action in our lives.  Answer the questions below to help you apply this lesson to your life.

What is one of the major promises that you are seeking God to fulfill in your life right now?

What evidence do you have in the Word of God that God will do what you are seeking?

Name the “faithful witnesses” in your life that you are using to build your faith.

What is their testimony relative to your situation?

Lesson Summary

Court is now in session!!!  We know that our faith must be tried and the evidence must weigh out. We know that we have solid, truthfully evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness to His people in the Word of God.  We are going to search out the scriptures and find our evidence.  We believe that God is a faithful judge and that He is no respecter of person.  We have no time for doubters and unbelief.  We believe God’s Word and we are building strong faith in Him. God is faithful and He faithfully takes care of His children.  See you in court!!!